Category Archives: Colour Specialist


Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018





Last month Lizzie and Millie headed to London to take part in the L’Oreal Professionnel Blonde Edit alongside a group of other L’Oreal Portfolio salon teams.  They were given a brief to create one of three blonde colour trends and the pair chose Bronzed Blonde.


Bronzed blonde is ideal for those taking the first steps towards more natural blonder tones and is a glossy, post holiday look. This ultra soft freehand service uses honey caramel tones for a bronzed glow and is ideal for clients who want to add more definition and contrast to overprocessed hair.

‘The day was a fabulous experience and it was great to explore more ideas with Mabel’s hair. I can’t wait to start using the new bronzed blonde techniques at Sadler Gate!’ Millie King

‘We spent the day at L’Oréal headquarters for the blonde edit which was a great experience from start to finish. We wanted to create a natural bronzed look to shy away from the ombré look and inspire clients with a greater variety of tones.’ Lizzie Fox

We always tailor blonde tones to suit your colouring and taste, ask to your stylist about which blonde tones will work for you.To make an appointment with Lizzie (Salon Manager and Colour Specialist) or Millie (Stylist) please call the Sadler Gate salon on 01332 203 302 or book online via our website.

Below: The final Blonde Edit looks are blushed blonde, bronzed blonde and plati-nude.


Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




Last Monday our stylists were trained on the brand new launch of ColourfulHair. This brand new in-salon, direct dye colour palette offers thousands of bespoke colourful results and is available in eight bright and brilliant intermixable shades. Whether it is soft Pink Sorbet or Hypnotic Magenta, the possibilities are endless!

The Crystal Clear allows stylists to reduce the intensity of the tone for more pastel tones and the colour can last for up to 15 shampoos, depending on the type of shade chosen, colour depth and porosity of the hair fiber. Colorful Hair is ammonia free and is available in all salons. The processing time is just 20 minutes and is priced from £20, depending on the desired effect. Please ask your stylist for a consultation and skin test for ColorfulHair and share your transformations with us on Instagram using #mycolourfulhair.


Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




Members of Art Team and stylists from across the salon group took part in our latest shoot at The Old Hall which was photographed by Paul Gill. You may recognise our models who are all clients and friends of the salon and in Lydia’s case, have modelled in each of our photographic collections over the past five years! We always use models who we feel reflect our clients and produce looks which inspire you to try something new, from a peachy or pink tone to a shorter and more textured cut or bolder colour.

The make up for all models is by Chloe, Spa Therapist at our Ashbourne salon using High Definition.

This 70’s inspired copper is by Laura Robertson, Colour Specialist & Art Team member from the Belper salon. This shorter fringe looks fantastic on Rochelle and the styling compliments her colour perfectly.

This grunge-inspired look is modelled by Lydia who is currently on the cover of our Hair Guide in a much more polished looking image. Hair by Art Team Members Lizzie (Colour Specialist at Sadler Gate) and Deesh from the Duffield Salon.

Another look by Lizzie and Deesh. Ellie’s colour was transformed into a multi tonal but clean blonde and styled into a ‘faux bob’ for the shoot but it is actually shoulder length!

Alice and Imogen from Ashbourne enhanced Amy’s natural colour for maximum shine.

Katherine and Lorna from The Old Hall worked on this fantastic colour blend on Kirsty. They kept it smooth and straight on the final image so the colour technique can be clearly seen.

Last but not least is this fantastic work by Millie at Sadler Gate. We love the pink and peach tones which compliment Mabel’s skin tone and colouring.


Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




Inspired by the runway, below are the two emerging trends for Spring/Summer 2017. Emmy Rappe (left) wears the first new service, Foilyage, although this technique is showcased on copper it is great for blondes and brunettes too.

The second trend, modelled by the stunning L’Oreal Professionnel ambassaor, Hailey Baldwin (right), is Nude Beige, inspired by the ‘barely-there’ nude make-up trend.

These looks are perfect for spring and so easy to wear.



Copper is the colour of the season spotted on the latest runways of the likes of Alexander Wang. We are embracing this colour and paring it with a trending technique, Foilyage. Like balayage, which you might be familiar with, this is a technique where the hair colour technician would freehand paint lighter pieces into the hair. However, selected pieces are then wrapped in foils, creating defined lightness to blend seamlessly with the softer tones.

Although modelled on copper, this technique is perfect for blondes and brunettes alike.


The new adaptation of the Balayage technique, Foilyage, this technique gives the so desired ultimate natural-looking sun-kissed glow perfect for introducing that spring/summer vibe. The subtlety of this look brings beauty creating definition and dimensions in the hair throughout the front section, in particular the lengths and ends. The glossy perfection that comes with this technique avoids the need for a radical transformation involving heavy commitment. A palette of copper and golden shades are perfect for this technique to brighten up and warm any hair colour.

The increased popularity of the Foilyage trend across the runways, celebrity looks and the high street is contributed to by its low maintenance nature, like Balyage, this professional salon-only technique gives the chic look and feel good factor reducing the need to go to the salon every few weeks. What more could you want?


Inspired by the ‘barely there’ nude make-up look, this trend uses the beige hair colour palette playing with a blend of cool and warm tones making this look perfect for spring and easy to wear.

Your colourist will work with your face shape to really emphasise your natural features & highlight the face contour with the colour placement adding an effortless glow for a chic and natural-looking result.

Our team all took part in an education session on the new techniques with L’Oreal Professionnel, ask them about nude blonde and foliage on your next visit.


Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018






SMARTBOND is L’Oréal Professionnel’s new smart ingredient added to your colour to minimise any potential damage & protect your hair. SMARTBOND is designed to protect the bonds deep within the hair & strengthen them during colouring & lightening processes, resulting in hair that is stronger, softer, and shinier.




SMARTBOND is a two-step process which allows the colourist to protect the hair & prevent damage during a technical service.


  • SMARTBOND Step 1 contains maleic acid which works smartly during the chemical process, it limits the oxidative stress and preserves the strong bonds & captures the ions and allows the reconstruction of the weak bonds.
  • SMARTBOND Step 2 is applied to the hair once the colour or pre-lightener is removed as a pre-shampoo. It also contains maleic acid which continues to capture the ions to allow the weaker bonds to reform. It contains a blend of ceramides & polymers to provide condition & shine to the hair.
  • SMARTBOND customers can re-inforce the in salon service with Step 3, an at home conditioner (RRP £16.49) that continuously strengthens the fibre week after week, allowing you to keep the outstanding salon result simply at home by using once a week for 1-3 minutes.

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  1. Rediscover the shine, evenness & softness of natural hair
  2. Hair fibre will have more bonds resulting in healthy and strong hair
  3. The smart formula leaves hair with a smooth luxurious ceramic feel with a texture that is less swollen & coarse



SMARTBOND is ideal for anyone undergoing a colour or pre-lightening service; from extreme colour transformations, subtle colour changes and first time colourers who are worried about damage.

Afraid to colour your hair? Get rid of your hair anxieties with SMARTBOND, coupled with L’Oréal Professionnel’s luxurious colour & pre-lightening products, your hairdresser can now guarantee that your hair will feel & look stronger after your usual colour service. So you can sit back and enjoy the salon experience!



SMARTBOND is now available at all Sally Montague Hair Group salons, the service is priced £30 and as an introductory promotion this price includes the take home conditioner, usual price £16.49.



Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




On Tuesday 17th May 2016 an afternoon and evening of celebration ensued as staff from the Sally Montague Hair Group’s six salons in Derbyshire gathered at the historic Cathedral Quarter Hotel in Derby for its annual awards ceremony.

Ewan Mathers,

Held to coincide with the 33rd anniversary of Sally Montague Hair Group, the highly anticipated awards aims to identify the salon stars that have excelled in their roles over the last 12 months. The 13 categories including The L’Oréal Professionnel Colour Genius and Best Salon Team, ensured members of staff were recognised and rewarded on the night.

Ewan Mathers,

Director Sally Montague presented the trophies and prizes, which ranged from an vouchers to luxury hair and skin care. The afternoon began with a presentation outlining the group’s achievements throughout 2015 and this year’s plans for the business including the new salon and spa being built in Ashbourne. Sally then presented the prizes in the awards ceremony to the evening’s winners and the night culminated with a celebratory dinner, where staff toasted their collective successes and awards.

Ewan Mathers,

Says director Sally Montague: “Our in-salon awards allows us to praise and commend each member of the team for their dedication and loyalty to the Sally Montague Hair Group. It’s one of the few times in the year where all our six salon teams are together – we’re already looking forward to next year!”

Ewan Mathers,

All salon teams clubbed together to present Sally Montague with flowers and a present to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the business.


The Apprentice Potential Award 2016: Danielle Shelley

The Style Award: Lou Lomax, The Old Hall

Art Team presentation and prizes: Lizzie, Deesh, Laura, Alice, Imogen, Ferne, Emmanuelle

Customer Excellence Award: Jo Allen

The Rising Star Award: Imogen Godwin, Ashbourne

Most Inspirational Team Member as voted for by the team: Deesh Dhindsa, Duffield

The L’Oreal Professionnel Colour Genius Award: Laura Robertson, Colour Specialist, Belper

Best Salon Team: Ashbourne

Manager of the Year Award for Outstanding Leadership: Charmian Ransby, Ashbourne

The Stylist Award for Professional Growth: Katherine Vanderplank, The Old Hall

The Spa Award for Professional Growth: Holly Leeming, Ashbourne

The Hall Of Fame Award, Best Stylist: Lizzie Fox, Sadler Gate

Salon of the Year: Belper


Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




Sam McKnight is one of the most accomplished and well-respected hair stylists of his generation. His name is synonymous with modern hair – whether it’s in magazines, on the runway or the red carpet and he has created some of the most iconic hair in modern history –  – Princess Diana’s short, slicked back style, Agyness Deyn’s bleached blonde crop, Madonna’s Bedtime Stories cover, Cate Blanchett getting her Oscar, Tilda Swinton channelling Bowie, Lady Gaga plus countless covers and editorial stories of Kate Moss and all the supermodels.

Our Belper Salon Manager, Colour Specialist and Art Team member Laura Robertson, applied and was accepted onto a four month ‘Mastered’ programme with Sam Mcknight in Autumn 2015. Here’s her account of what’s happened so far…

To be accepted into the Sam McKnight course is a huge honour that I am extremely excited to be a part of. I get asked on a daily basis what I do in my free time; the courses and opportunities that I often take part in inside and outside of the salon, so I thought it would be fun for both me and my clients if I shared this experience with anyone who wants to read about it. I want to take you along with me on my journey – after all, my clients are the ones who inspire me each and every day. I hope you enjoy reading about Mastered as much as I enjoy being part of it!

The Mastered programme is four-months long and led by hair icon Sam McKnight. Sam and his closest collaborators have set out to find and develop the most passionate and fearless hair professionals working today.  I wanted to join this industry of insiders on a unique journey to success, taking in the world of campaigns, clients, shows and fashion and beauty editorials.

During this process I will be given a series of different breifs to guide and inspire me to create individual and unique styles. My first brief that I have been given is to draw upon inspiration from Emanuel Ungaro.

For those who do not know, Emanuel Ungaro is an esteemed fashion designer. Widely accepted to be the last grand couturier, he retired from fashion in 2005 – but his company continues to dominate fashion headlines today.

To begin my process into the research of this great designer  I put together a mood board and research topics which would sculpt my journey to my final outcome.


1st image



Emanuel Ungaro was extremely audacious. The first period of his career at the end of the 60’s is one of the most interesting. I took my inspiration from this moment of fashion revolution, mixing the stiff and sexy shapes from the 60’s with the extrodinary dramatic peices of the designer.



It takes a lot of time, patience and an awful lot of research hitting dead ends until you find an image that inspires you. After looking at various sex symbols of the 60’s I came across the glamorous 60’s icon, bond girl and former sex symbol Ursula Andress.  This is a perfect muse for me. Since Ursula Andress was the blueprint for all future ‘Bond girls’ she is both 60’s and modern day inspired. James Bond and his girls have evolved but never gone out of style and the films continue to be made, and this image from the famous scene of her coming out of the water with her hair wet was incredibly famous and has become an iconic look.





Royal weddings are both traditional and glamourous and I am particulary interested in the 1960’s Royal Weddings because of the strong structured, silohetted fabrics which coinside with the lace and embellishment. This contrast of firm sculpted shapes and soft, textured fabrics has inspired by hair greatly in my final images. You will notice when looking at my final images that the hair has a bold shape to it but a soft texture to contrast.



Emanuel Ungaro discovered hardware and was thoroughly metal minded. He put his models into metal bras and was the leading metal merchant with body sculptures and body jewellery. At the time he was pushing the boundaries and making a statement. It gave women a strong image and always left you wanting to see more.



Emanuel ungaro was always pushing the boundaries…contrasting different materials to create both a shiny and a matt effect. In this photo above, it makes the shoulder piece appear quite masculine and must be carried off by a strong confident woman. This is something I want to also bring into my final image, which I am going to try and re-create with black, sharp headband on blonde soft hair.

Appearing through his work is a strong and stiff structure which is something that I have taken inspiration from.


Emanuel’s metal ware collections have drawn me in and I am fascinated by these moulding garments that he used because it uses a variety of different materials and shows a diversity in sex appeal.



This is one of my favourite peices. It is named ”The Secret Garden’ by Citco designed with Zaha Hadid architects in Milan, Italy. I love the smooth metal shapes contrasting along side the structure and dominance of the piece and how it changes shape from one side to the other and yet still flows.



I am really interested in all the textures and details in clothing and how stiff these images appear but also have that element of romance. this is something I would like to portray in my work.



I love the 60’s and 60’s hair is beautifully technical and has come back around into fashion, therefore we are seeing more and more volume and lift within hair appearing in magazines and on the catwalk. I am really interested in the 60’s inspired hair of today and how is has evolved since the first time around. We are seeing more texture and techniques being used such as the use of bobby pins on show, textured unset waves and the different placement of headbands.  This has really inspired by final peice, expecially in my Look 1 where I have created a contrast between an acordian headband which has scraped the front section back and a light and textured wave flowing down her back.


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In this look I have combined all my research together for a final image. I took the Ursula Andress wet look and contrasted it with some tousled dry waves. I created the ‘wet look’ with gel along with a comb headband which defined each small section off of the face as if you have combed your hair wet and it separates. I wanted to keep the rest of the hair matt dry so mimic the textured lace photos that I found with the shape and spirit of the 60’s with a dash of romanticism of the Royal wedding.


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This look I drew inspiration from today’s version of the 60’s.  I wanted to execute a beehive with a twist on the shape to bring it back up to date. It is fresh and the simplicity of the front makes it a great look for catwalk. I used an acordian headband too execute the wet look and wanted to bring back that 60’s inspired volume into the back.




Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




The Art Team have unveiled their latest collection: Muse. The collection aims to inspire and showcase the luxurious hair services we offer, from Great Length hair extensions to technically perfect colour and polished, editorially inspired styling. The combination of pearlescent blondes with honeycomb, toasted terracotta and spiced aubergine make a sumptuous colour palette which was applied using freehand techniques by our Art Team Colour Specialists. Photographed by Paul Gill at The Old Hall, the collection will feature throughout our new ‘hair guide’ which will be available in January 2016. As ever the models in the collection are all clients, friends and staff, which we think makes the photographic collections we produce each year extra special – Thank you!

HAIR: The Sally Montague Hair Group Art Team using Shu Uemura Art Of Hair

Sally Montague, Ferne Baker, Angel Montague-Sayers, Deesh Dhindsa, Emmanuelle Montague-Sayers, Lizzie Fox, Laura Robertson, Alice Cronin, Imogen Godwin

Assisted by Bonnie, Serafina, Jessica, Grace, Charlotte, Eve

Make Up by Stephanie from the Belper salon using Make Up by HD Brows

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‘We wanted to ensure our clients could fall in love with the imagery of our new collection, so it was important to us to produce commercial images with a luxe, contemporary twist.’ – Angel Montague- Sayers.

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Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




When a new ‘hair miracle’ appears we tend to be critical and wait to see results before introducing a new service. After hearing about the much hyped OLAPLEX earlier this year we tested the service on our stylists and have been exceedingly impressed with the results.

olaplex 1

Read ‘Olaplex: The Vogue Road Test’ here


OLAPLEX is a ‘bond perfecting solution’ which basically acts as scaffolding for your hair. The solution contains one active ingredient designed to reconnect the disulphide sulphur bonds which tend to be broken down by hair colouring and thermal styling. OLAPLEX is free from silicones, parabens, oils and aldehydes.



For hair that has been compromised chemically or thermally, the OLAPLEX BOND MULTIPLIER is the first step used by your Stylist. The Bond Multiplying System rebuilds the strength, structure and integrity to the point where a colour or chemical service would be feasible once again. This may be done before and/or after a chemical service and is compatible with all hair types from virgin to extremely compromised chemically treated hair.

The next step used by your Stylist is OLAPLEX BOND PERFECTOR, this is used to link the remaining disulfide bonds before and after service restoring the strength, structure and integrity of the hair.

The OLAPLEX service will add approximately 15-30 minutes to your appointment time.



OLAPLEX DUO £50 (when Olaplex is used in more than once in an appointment, effectively a ‘double’ shot of Olaplex)

OLAPLEX can be used in conjunction with pretty much every salon service from highlights to Keratin Smoothing and hair extensions.

THe Fixier



Behind the scenes

YEAR 2018




Inspired by the make-up trend of the moment, hair contouring is a custom-made colour application technique that has revolutionised the use of hair colour and what it can achieve. This innovative technique uses the careful placement of colours around the face and, thanks to a play of light and shadow, can alter the appearance of your face shape by accentuating your best features and enhancing your natural skin tone without the application of make-up.


Hair contouring is a colouring technique that uses a combination of free hand application and highlighting paired with the careful positioning of different tones and depths around the face to highlight and shadow targeted areas. The clever placement of colour and the careful selection of complimentary tones perform an optical illusion and make your face appear more defined and features more accentuated. Hair contouring is a 100% bespoke colouring service that is literally designed to suit your unique structure, features and skin tone.


Round/Square face

To elongate a round or square face, your colourist will lighten the top of the hair and the ends using a free hand technique. Shadow and depth is created at the sides of the face use a darker shade. The lightness at the top of the head and shading around the sides will make the face shape appear slimmer and more contoured.

 Diamond/Oblong/Rectangular face

To widen the facial features of these face shape your colourist will keep the roots and the underneath of the hair dark to create shadow at the top of the head and around the jawline. A single highlight around the face is used to frame it and lighter pieces are weaved in front of the ears with an ombre effect to make an elongated face shape appear more oval.

Heart/Triangular face

In order to soften the shape of the chin without widening the forehead your colourist will apply a darker colour to the top of the head and crown areas and will apply lighter pieces freehand through the mid lengths and ends to lighten under the jawline. The section around the hairline is also lightened to highlight the face. Ombre & Sombré techniques are well suited to this face shape

hair contour

Truly bespoke colour…

Contouring requires the eye of our expert Colour Specialists, we have a certified Colour Specialist in each salon (Ferne at The Old Hall, Lizzie at Sadler Gate, Zoe at Duffield, Laura at Belper and Alice at Ashbourne). Firstly they will identify your unique face shape and bone structure by brushing hair backwards and behind the ears to expose the full outline of your face.

Colour Specialist

The benchmark that is most commonly used is the “oval” shape due to its well-balanced and symmetrical proportions. The next step is for your colourist to decode where the darker and lighter shades need to be positioned around your face in order to re-sculpt the appearance and achieve a more ‘oval’ shape. Different colour shades and tones are then applied either free hand for a more subtle finish, or highlighted separately for more defined pieces. This combination allows the colourist to tailor the application to suit you.

The complexity of this technical consultation and application requires a professional to ensure colours are perfectly blended into the hair and suit your skin tone. The subtle shades, the ability of the colourist to use careful positioning beneath the parting and tailor the application method to your needs means that this colouring technique can look extremely natural…no one will ever know!